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#960945 - 04/22/05 07:54 AM Need some advice about my teacher  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 199
frida1 Offline
Full Member
frida1  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 199
Pacific Northwest
I've been taking lessons from my teacher for about 1-1/2 years. I played when younger, but hadn't done much in the intervening 20 years or so. Having bought a new Petrof IV, the sounds are a revelation, and I usually practice a couple hours a day. She originally chose a few pieces for me, but now I suggest what I'd like to do and she seems to think that's fine. For the past few months I've been doing Brahms Rhapsody Op. 79 #2, the Brahms Op. 118 Intermezzos, Debussy Preludes 5, 8 and 10, Chopin Nocturne C#minor. We also do lots of duets for 1 and 2 pianos. She really enjoys performing these for small groups of family and friends. I like the teacher and we get along well. So my dilemma:

She never gives me muvh advice! I just play the pieces, she makes very little comment. Usually she mentions one or two small things about tempo, etc. I really feel the need for some interpretive help on voicing, melody, etc. When I asked her about this, she looked nonplussed. A few times I've mentioned technical difficulties and asked if she had advice on solving them, but she didn't have any. I've found some advice on the internet I found very helpful (the infamous Chang).

Strange as it seems, in my relatively small town, there are only 2 teachers, apparently, who teach this level. I'm simply not that good a pianist, so I know I need help. The other teacher is a friend of my teacher and they play together often. I really can't think about changing to the other teacher.

Any advice?

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#960946 - 04/22/05 08:21 AM Re: Need some advice about my teacher  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 332
Rob Mullins Offline
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Rob Mullins  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 332
LA CA
Hi,
Living in a town where you don't have options is a problem. Look into leaving your area and going to a big city over the summer to study at one of the zillions of cool workshops and camps available. You will move ahead quickly if you do that and will probably meet some teachers and other players you can talk to over the web to keep you motivated through the year.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
#960947 - 04/22/05 11:29 AM Re: Need some advice about my teacher  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 199
frida1 Offline
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frida1  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 199
Pacific Northwest
That's an intriguing idea. But wouldn't something like that be for really good pianists, looking to go into graduate programs, where at age 50, and just a regular, garden variety amateur piano player I'd feel pretty stupid?

#960948 - 04/22/05 06:29 PM Re: Need some advice about my teacher  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 332
Rob Mullins Offline
Full Member
Rob Mullins  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 332
LA CA
Hi,
The age range at the last Park City Utah Jazz Festival piano class I taught was 11-81 year old. Playing and ability levels were from beginning to very advanced. Look into it in your region and see what is available.


Rob Mullins
www.planetmullins.com
Recording Artist and Jazz Piano Instructor
#960949 - 04/26/05 08:33 AM Re: Need some advice about my teacher  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 430
Grane Offline
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Grane  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 430
Greater Miami
frida1 -- Wow, seems like a problem.

The real question is does she know enough to give the advice and direction you seek or does she know but not know how to impart it?

If the former -- time to move on as it seems you're getting very little from the lessons.

If it's because she doesn't know how to impart it, I'd begin telling her politely but firmly that you love taking lessons and learning and want to learn more and want more feedback from her. This may sound confrontational, but need not be if said nicely. People react to what's said about 80% by the tone, the rest body language and the least the words.

Depending on her answers you can probe and explore and tell her what you crave and see how she reacts. Seems you have little to nothing to lose.

Then like any relationship, tell her what you expect.

Ed


2005 Steinway B
#960950 - 04/26/05 09:51 AM Re: Need some advice about my teacher  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,815
rintincop Offline
1000 Post Club Member
rintincop  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,815
What is meant by "voicing"?


Casio PX-360 digital piano, Mojo 61 digital organ, 1966 Mason & Hamlin piano.
#960951 - 04/26/05 11:15 AM Re: Need some advice about my teacher  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member
btb  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 4,264
Pretoria South Africa
Hi Frida1,

A classic "rock and a hard place" scenario.

Your small town situation doesn't carry the musical expertise to meet your needs. Rob's "breath of fresh air" suggestion to get away to a musical workshop would clearly brighten up your outlook - but then there's the constant reminder of the unforgiving grey return to the old routine.

But judging by your sophisticated choice of classical works in front of your piano, you clearly have a quality feeling for the best in music - and could manage on your own without a teacher. Where you come unstuck, 10,000 Piano Forum buffs are on standby to help you through the "plateaus".

With the exception of the familiar "la fille aux cheveux de lin" you might not find many who are conversant with 8 & 10 of the Debussy Preludes but the Opus 118 Intermezzos of Brahms and the Chopin Nocturne should roust a goodly company.

#960952 - 04/29/05 05:29 AM Re: Need some advice about my teacher  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 197
miseenplace Offline
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miseenplace  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 197
Minnesota
Aren't there masterclass editions of all these pieces?


Kuan

Say meez-ahn-plaz

All Hail the Sixteen Men of Tain!
#960953 - 04/29/05 09:39 AM Re: Need some advice about my teacher  
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 199
frida1 Offline
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frida1  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 199
Pacific Northwest
What's a masterclass edition?

#960954 - 04/29/05 01:38 PM Re: Need some advice about my teacher  
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 197
miseenplace Offline
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miseenplace  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 197
Minnesota
They're basically books written about a particular piece, normally by an authority on the composer or the period.


Kuan

Say meez-ahn-plaz

All Hail the Sixteen Men of Tain!

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